Total Population: 405,549 | Curbside collections households: 147,000
Curbside Collection type: Mandatory dual-stream bins (red and blue)

Sarasota County, which is located on the west coast of the state, is keeping glass in its recycling. The county has a source-separated, dual-stream collection program. According to Brian Usher, the County Solid Waste Collection Manager, there are four reasons they continue to collect glass in their program:

  1. Public perception: Glass is still perceived to be one of the foundational “fruits” of recycling and a high value commodity.

  2. Cost: Even though recycling glass is a cost to us, the cost of collecting and processing is still cheaper and more sustainable than landfilling. Our landfill is not excited about diverting all of this glass to the landfill where it has no LFG value, does not readily degrade, and will take up airspace.

  3. Diversion: In an effort to meet diversion goals in Florida of 75% by 2020, glass is one of the few commodities that still has weight and contributes to tonnages diverted.

  4. Processing: as a dual-stream collector, glass does not have quite the cross contamination issues that it does for the single stream recycling processing.

The County’s processing contract is up in 2018, and its current processor is pushing for renegotiation of the agreement due to the changes in the recyclable materials commodity markets. The collections contract is also up in 2018, and the current status of recycling is going to weigh heavily on their decisions in 2018 in regards to single stream collection and processing. But for now—glass is staying in the Sarasota County program.


Source: 8/17/2016 Forester Network Does Glass Recycling Still Make Sense? Forester